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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 10/26/2011

Fashion reigns at Dupont High Heel Race

Contestants get close to the finish line during the 25th Annual High Heel Drag Queen Race in D.C. (The Washington Post - Cara Kelly)
The main event may be the quick sprint down 17th Street, but fashion seemed to be the highlight of the annual Dupont High Heel Drag Queen Race Tuesday night.

The blockaded street assumed the duty of a runway prior to the race as extravagantly dressed participants flaunted their intricate costumes. The crowd, which had lined the avenue hours before the start gun was scheduled to fire, cheered for their favorite ensembles as the queens slowly sauntered toward the start line.

The fashion scene, like the crowd, was mixed. Standard little black dresses and blond updos, like Ryan Dreher or Miss Anita Pill’s ensemble for the evening, were sprinkled through the groups of more outlandish pieces. Dreher topped the outfit with classic red pumps, in which he could feasibly take off running.

(Cara Kelly - The Washington Post)

Others took the opportunity to show their fashion prowess. Jamaica D was one of several drag queens who found inspiration in Alexander McQueen’s legendary armadillo shoes. The queens who donned the towering 6-inch heels seemed more focused on their fantastically constructed garments rather than the race occurring around them.

Philip Gerlach dressed as Amy Winehouse at the 25th Annual High Heel Drag Queen Race in D.C. (Cara Kelly - The Washington Post)

And with Halloween only a few days away, full-blown costumes were in abundance. Philip Gerlach, a.k.a. Queen Bambi, took the opportunity to honor Amy Winehouse, wearing her signature bee-hive and cat-eyes. Dancers from “Black Swan,” Michael Jackson, Gene Simmons and Princess Bea, complete with circular fascinator, rounded out the celebrity look-alikes.

Kirk Sobill dressed as Princess Beatrice for the annual Dupont High Heel Race Tuesday night. (Cara Kelly - The Washington Post)
The drag queens were not the only ones to enjoy the stylish atmosphere. Sandra Chavez, Eleni Viallouros and Eleni Vakalopoilos sported complementary pink wigs and rocker looks. Others took the moment to dust off furs that had been in storage through winter and recently purchased leather boots.

Whether decked in over-the-top garments, or wearing suits straight from a day at the office, everyone seemed to be enjoying the spectacle.

See more photos from the night below.


GALLERY: Click the image above to view more images from the high heel race.

By Cara Kelly  |  12:10 PM ET, 10/26/2011

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